Black Girls Be Checking Alex Trebek

It is 7:13pm on Monday, June 30 and Jeopardy is on the tv. Just as it has always been in my house for my whole life. When I was 2, I would slurped down mashed peas and hum the Final Jeopardy round theme song. But as I have gotten older, and so has everyone else, I have realized that Alex Trebek is a jerk!

Now, I don’t know the man personally, nor do I know his professional aspirations, but maybe hosting a game show wasn’t his dream job. Or maybe the decades of trivia has made him cynical but whatever it is he needs to SIT DOWN! Just like a teacher who has had it up to here with misspelled 4th grade book reports and juvenile jokes. But lately Trebek has said some douche things to players that have thrown them off their game.

Last week, on Friday, June 27, he taunted the returning champion saying something to the effect of “Ringing in and expecting the answer to come isn’t working for you today, is it?” It was taunting in tone and I think the producers said something to him because after the commercial break he said that the player told him that she was buzzing in before she knew the answer and it was coming to her. But it was too late. That player was taken out of her game, was flustered and she lost.

And today, when the players were sharing their corny stories (99.98% of the stories shared on Jeopardy are SO corny!) And the returning champion mentioned that she met Vanna White on a flight and that she was small, he said “Like you. Slim. A very pretty lady.” She looked perplexed and bothered and she didn’t buzz in for a while.

Alex Trebek is tripping and he is messing with folks minds and money! While doing research for this post (ie Googling),  I discovered that when types in “Alex Trebek is…” the autocompletes are “mean” “condescending” “a jerk” and “losing it”. There is even a whole tumblr called Mean Alex Trebek, so this behavior has been documented.

I just spent the last 350 words on Alex Trebek as if SCOTUS didn’t decide that my job knows more about my health than my doctor does and walking papers are still necessary if you’re brown and anywhere where folks think you ought not be, but today Alex pissed me off. So Black girls gotta check Alex Trebek.

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Black Girls B in the Middle

I didnt really intend to post anything today but it was dropped in my lap and I couldnt resist.  I am a Jeopardy kid from a Jeopardy family.  As a baby, I would hum the final question music and tap out the beat with my baby spoon.  I pride myself on being able to answer questions on that show and sometimes I even consider being a contestant.  Because I have always loved trivia. Little known facts that are only useful on inebriated nights with friends that are also known as game nights.  I asked my mother to buy me an almanac when I was 9 and I am a self confessed nerd. And I be code switching.  Code switching? What’s that? Well first let me tell you a little bit more about me.

I am very much a Black girl. Teetering the line between stereotype and black exception at most junctures. Yes, I love fried chicken. And yes, watermelon too.  Yes, I have been scorched by hot combs, gotten chemical scalp burns by relaxers and I know my way around an afro pic.  Yes I can sing and dance and I am not at all intimidated by a multi-layered beat (The 2 and the 4 people, the 2 and the 4!).

Yes, I know my father. Yes, I have traveled abroad. Yes, I have my degree.  Yes, I work in the arts (2 jobs as of today! Woohoo!) Yes, I am unwed and childless. And yes, I be code switching.

Code switching!? There’s that phrase again!

According to Wikipedia, in linguistics, code-switching is switching between one or more language, or language variety, in the context of a single conversation. Multilinguals—people who speak more than one language—sometimes use elements of multiple languages in conversing with each other. Thus, code-switching is the use of more than one linguistic variety in a manner consistent with the syntax and phonology of each variety.

So here’s an example, a young woman walks into a Starbucks and stands in line behind you and you hear this:

Yeah gurl so I was like I be knowin what you doin. Im not dumb and he was all like baby dont do me like that and I was like psh… Gurl hol on a sec… Hello? This is she.  Yes I can definitely do that. No problem. What time is most convenient for you? Absolutely. See you then. You do the same. Goodbye… Gurl you there so yeah like I was sayin…

So either you believe she is psychotic or… or… what do you think? Well she is code switching. Code switching is the basis of this blog and I need for you to understand that I am not being ironically ignorant. Black English is a language that is distinct from Standard American English.  If you have read enough of this blog I hope that you know that I am proficient in both.  I code because I have thoughts that can only be truly expressed in my native tongue of Black English.  Sometimes it just beez like that.

I am proud of who I am even as I try to make a way in a society that tells me I shouldnt be.  I love my brown skin, my thick hair, my almond eyes, my feisty wit and my language. It is revolutionary and I accept that.  But every once in a while something can happen like a Jeopardy category called “B in the Middle” that reminds me that I be important.